Howard J. Kogan

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Ars Poetica

I’ve been thinking about why I write poems.Artwork by Gene  McCormick
I do want you to know about me and my life
but not my life, which is as boring as yours.
The life I want you to know is in my poems.

In my poems I fall in love, make love
there is a God, I talk to God, God answers.
I create the weather, change the world
by changing a word.

In my life my back hurts
I have the same conversations with the same people
over and over.
I wash dishes
go to the dentist
get the mail
pee every hour
worry about money.
I read the same stories in the same newspaper
day after day.

Not that I expect you to care about my life
anymore than I care about yours.
But we do need each other
to be each other’s audience.
We spend enough time talking to ourselves.

So what we need is a quid pro quo
taking turns pretending our poetry is our real life.
I’ll believe yours, if you’ll believe mine.
We could live together in a world
where all things are possible.

Each of us fussing over our poems
choosing every word carefully
to precisely capture the essence
of an experience we never had.

Howard J Kogan is a psychotherapist and poet. His poems have appeared or
are forthcoming in Still Crazy, Occupoetry, Poetry Ark, Naugatuck River
Review, Farming Magazine, Literary Gazette, Pathways, Up the River, Point
Mass Anthology. His book of poems, Indian Summer, was published in 2011
and is available from